CDC booster endorsement, Kroger shooting, Arizona election audit: 5 things to know Friday
CDC endorses COVID-19 boosters for older or high-risk Americans
A major new phase in the U.S vaccination drive against COVID-19 will soon begin after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention endorsed booster shots for millions of older or and high-risk Americans late Thursday. CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky signed off a series of recommendations from a panel of advisers, hours after they said boosters for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine should be offered to people 65 and older, nursing home residents and those ages 50 to 64 who have risky underlying health problems. But Walensky decided to make one recommendation the panel had rejected. The panel voted against saying people can get a booster if they are 18 to 64 years of age, are healthcare workers or have another job that puts them at increased risk of being exposed to the virus. Walensky disagreed and put that recommendation back in, noting that such a move aligns with a previous FDA booster authorization decision.
Gunman kills 1, wounds at least 12 at Kroger store in Tennessee
Police in Tennessee are expected to continue their investigation Friday after a gunman killed one person and wounded at least 12 others at a Kroger grocery store before dying from what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound, authorities said. The shooting was reported at about 1:30 p.m. CT on Thursday in Collierville, a town about 30 miles east of Memphis. Terrified shoppers ran from the building amid gunshots fired inside, according to survivors and eyewitnesses. At least four victims are in critical condition, a hospital spokesperson said. Kroger said the store will remain closed while the investigation continues, and employees are being offered counseling services. “The entire Kroger family offers our thoughts, prayers and support to the individuals and families of the victims during this difficult time,” the company said in a statement.
Hand recount in Arizona affirms Biden defeated Trump in 2020 election
A monthslong hand recount in Maricopa County, Arizona’s largest county, once again confirmed President Joe Biden won the 2020 election and the race was not “stolen” from former President Donald Trump, according to early versions of a report prepared for the Arizona Senate obtained by The Arizona Republic of the USA TODAY Network. The report by the Senate’s lead contractor, Cyber Ninjas, examined Maricopa County’s 2020 vote and includes results that show Trump lost by a wider margin than the county’s official election results. The hand count shows Trump received 45,469 fewer votes than Biden. The county results showed Trump lost by 45,109. The draft reports reviewed, however, minimize the ballot counts and election results and instead focus on issues that raise questions about the election process and voter integrity. The official results are set to be presented to the state Senate Friday afternoon.
A Democratic bill to protect abortion rights nationwide is expected to be approved Friday in the House, but support in the more narrowly Democratic-held Senate is less certain. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, a Republican, said Tuesday she opposes the bill, The Los Angeles Times first reported. The measure is a direct response to the Texas “fetal heartbeat” bill that took effect earlier this month after the Supreme Court declined to block its enforcement. Despite 48 cosponsors in the Senate, Democrats are considering whether to bring it to a vote.
Ryder Cup gets underway after pandemic postponement
Postponed for a year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 43rd Ryder Cup golf competition opens Friday with two days of best-ball and alternate-shot matches before Sunday’s singles competitions. Team Europe will be trying to retain the Cup on American soil at Whistling Straits in Haven, Wisconsin. Europe beat the United States in Paris in 2018 to take back the trophy the U.S. had won in 2016. So, the pressure is on for Team USA, which traditionally has struggled in foursomes and will be trying to win for just the third time since 2002. Europe has won seven of the last nine and nine of the last 12 Cups, including in the 2018 beatdown in France. Earlier this week, European captain Padraig Harrington tried to win over American fans, throwing a few Cheesehead hats into the gallery and wearing Green Bay Packers colors.